Maki Tsukada life and biography

Maki Tsukada picture, image, poster

Maki Tsukada biography

Date of birth : 1982-01-05
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Shimotsuma, Ibaraki Prefecture
Nationality : Japanese
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-06-17
Credited as : Female judoka, winner at the Athens Olympic 2004,

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Maki Tsukada , born January 5, 1982 in Shimotsuma, Ibaraki Prefecture is a Japanese female judoka. She won the Women's +78kg category gold medal at the Athens Olympic in 2004 and the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Maki Tsukada of Japan, a nine-time national champion in her country, won the gold medal in over-78 kilogram (172 pounds) judo in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Tsukada also won four World Cup championships in the sport. She also has a record seven straight titles in the All Japan Women's Judo Championship.

Dominant in World Events

Tsukada, born in 1982, made her professional debut on March 3, 2000, when she defeated Sédrine Portet of France in the first round of the World Cup A tournament in Budapest, Hungary. She won that tournament, beating Ibis Dueñas of Cuba in the over-78 kg final. She repeated as World Cup champion a year later, but lost the final in 2003.

On August 21, 2004, Tsukada defeated four opponents to capture the gold medal in her weight division in the Olympics. She bested Jessica Malone of Austria, Marina Prokofieva of Ukraine, Tea Dongouzashvili of Russia and, in the final, Daima Beltrán of Cuba. Japan won eight gold medals overall--five by women--in judo in that Olympiad.

"There were seven different countries that earned gold medals in the 2004 Olympics [in judo], but Japan displayed [its] growing dominance," Neil Ohlenkamp wrote on the Judo Information Web site. World championships in the sport began in 1956, and the Olympics included the event starting in 1964, when Japan's capital city, Tokyo, hosted the event. According to JudoInfo.com, Japan has won 120 gold medals in the world championships and Olympics from 1956 through 2004; France ranks a distant second with 39.

In 2007 Tsukada captured the gold medal in the open class at the 2007 world championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a silver medal in the over-78 kg subdivision. She also prevailed in the Paris Super Cup early in 2008. Later that year she was first in the All-Japan Selected Championships in Fukuoka.

On April 20, 2008, Tsukada won her seventh straight Japanese title. She won all her early-round bouts by "ippon," or knockouts, before outpointing Midori Shintani, the 2005 world champion, in the final. According to the International Herald Tribune, Tsukada went pointless against Shintani, but judges from the Japan Judo Federation determined her the more aggressive of the two and declared her the winner. Shintani announced her retirement after the match.

According to the Tribunearticle, a tearful Tsukada said, "I have so many people I'd like to thank for helping me get this far: my university teachers, all my practice partners, everyone. I couldn't have done it without them." Her seventh straight Japanese title broke the record held by Yoko Tanabe, whose reign was from 1987 to 1992, inclusive. "With the power and pride derived from your seventh straight title, I want you to go to the Olympics and repeat as champion," Tanabe said, as quoted by the Tribune.

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